Campaign targeting personal watercraft users who flout rules

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The campaign includes work to emphasise the safety requirements for personal watercraft at the point of sale and at boat ramps, including those in the City of Wanneroo.

A NEW targeted education campaign to reinforce responsible use of personal watercraft highlighting the consequences of taking risks and not sharing the water safely is continuing in WA.

The campaign includes work to highlight the safety requirements for personal watercraft or jet skis at the point of sale and at boat ramps, including those in the City of Wanneroo.

Despite representing less than eight per cent of vessels on the water, personal watercraft now account for one in every three boating infringements – prompting the Department of Transport (DoT) to implement the campaign.

DoT waterways safety management director Chris Mather said there had been a concerning increase in the percentage of infringements issued to personal watercraft operators in recent years, climbing from 19 per cent to 36 per cent in the last five years while the craft ratio rose only one percent (6.6 to 7.6 per cent of total registered vessels).

“Data for the past two years shows the two most common infringements issued to PWC operators are failure to wear a lifejacket and speeding, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of infringements issued, while 12 per cent were for freestyle riding in a prohibited area,” he said.

“Every person on board a PWC must wear a lifejacket at all times to the required standard for the area of operation and adhere to all applicable speed limits, even while operating within dedicated freestyle areas such as the PWC area near the Narrows Bridge on the Swan River.

“While the majority of users comply, there is an increasing number of PWC operators endangering the lives of other water users by flouting the rules and being complacent about safety which is unacceptable and needs to be addressed.”

Riders will also be encouraged to visit the DoT website to check lifejacket and other safety equipment requirements for personal watercraft.